Choosing a livestreaming destination can be a difficult decision to make. Should you go live on Facebook or Twitter? What about YouTube and other platforms?
The truth is, each social media platform has its own unique benefits and audience types, and it’s advantageous for you to connect with your audiences on different channels.
One of the best ways you can do that is multistreaming.
In this blog post, I’ll cover:
- What is multistreaming?
- The benefits of multistreaming
- How to go live on multiple platforms
- Multistreaming with Switcher Studio
WHAT IS MULTISTREAMING?
Streaming is a process we are all very familiar with, where one video broadcast can reach lots and lots of different screens simultaneously. Imagine a streaming system like Facebook Live, for example. Now instead of having one platform, picture multiple platforms. Instead of just Facebook Live, imagine streaming the same content to YouTube, Instagram live, and LinkedIn Live all at the same time.
Multistreaming is expanding the streaming process to include multiple systems. In other words, you can stream simultaneously to multiple audiences instead of just your audience on one platform.
In other words, multistreaming is the process of streaming a live video to multiple destinations or platforms simultaneously.
So that you don’t get confused, multistreaming gets referred to as “simulcasting”, “multicasting”, as well. These terms refer to the same concept of streaming to multiple destinations simultaneously.
Which livestreaming destinations you stream to are completely up to you and the capabilities of the multistreaming tool or service you use. We’ll cover more on choosing a multistreaming tool and the right destinations in just a bit.
THE BENEFITS OF MULTISTREAMING
Multistreaming offers unique advantages over livestreaming to a single destination. From growing your audience to streamlining comments in one location, multistreaming provides a variety of benefits.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the major benefits of multistreaming.
1. EXPANDS YOUR REACH.
One of the biggest benefits of multistreaming is the ability to expand your reach. Although there’s potential overlap in audience members, you’re likely to have unique followers on any individual platform where you could live stream. Livestreaming to multiple platforms simultaneously opens up the opportunity to broaden your audience. Not everyone has a Facebook account, LinkedIn profile, Instagram account, so the more platforms you multistream to, the more opportunities you’re creating to connect with viewers.
Plus, the more you can expand your reach on different platforms, the more brand awareness you’ll create on each. Steadily increasing brand awareness over time can have a direct impact on brand loyalty — helping you to continually grow your audience and keep them coming back for more content.
2. STREAMLINE VIEWER COMMENTS.
Verbally responding to viewers’ questions and comments can be time-consuming, especially if you’re having to do so on multiple social media channels. Some multistreaming tools, like Switcher Studio, streamline viewer comments from all destinations allowing you to easily view and respond to all of your audiences’ questions in one place.
3. AVOIDING TECH PROBLEMS.
If you are live streaming and something goes wrong with the tech, whether it’s your fault or not, people aren’t going to sit around and wait for the problem to sort itself out. You spread the risk out when you stream on multiple platforms at once. If one platform has problems, your stream won’t be interrupted completely.
4. BETTER UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCES’ PREFERENCES
No two audiences are the exact same, especially audiences across different social media platforms. Content that performs well on one platform isn’t guaranteed to perform well on another.
Multistreaming can be a great way to learn more about the types of content your audiences on different platforms prefer. For example, let’s say you livestream a monthly Q&A session that typically performs well on Facebook. You might try multistreaming to LinkedIn and realize that those Q&A streams perform really well, or you might multistream to YouTube and realize that Q&A content on that platform has low engagement.
Multistreaming can be used to determine what types of live video content your audiences are interested in. Be sure to analyze what works and what doesn’t work, and adjust your multistreaming content and destinations accordingly.
5. MAKE VIEWING CONVENIENT FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
Multistreaming doesn’t just benefit content creators; it benefits their viewers too. By going live to multiple destinations, viewers have the opportunity to watch content on their preferred platforms. Whether that’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, LinkedIn, Twitter, or elsewhere, your viewers are more likely to regularly tune in to your livestreams if you’re bringing your live video content directly to their favorite platforms.
6. POTENTIALLY ATTRACTING NEW VIEWERS.
Every platform that allows users to live stream has its own system to keep users engaged. When you live stream on YouTube, for example, they will suggest your content to people who might like it. Increasing the number of simultaneous live streams increases the likelihood that new users will have the chance to engage with it.
7. BE MORE EFFICIENT
When I think about multistreaming, the phrase “work smarter, not harder” definitely comes to mind. Multistreaming enables live streamers to use their time more efficiently and avoid duplicating their content creation efforts across several different platforms.
Multistreaming also ensures that all of your audiences get to experience your content in real time, rather than creating a disconnect by going live on different platforms at different times or reposting streams on other platforms later.
HOW TO GO LIVE ON MULTIPLE PLATFORMS.
Now that I’ve covered the multistream meaning and its benefits, let’s discuss how to go live on multiple platforms!
The first step when learning how to multistream is choosing a video platform that allows multistreaming. Depending on your needs, you have three options to choose from:
- Hardware encoders: This is the only option that is a physical piece of equipment. Hardware encoders have their own processing power and don’t rely on a computer, but you will need a high internet upload speed to produce a quality stream. Aside from multistreaming, many hardware encoders lack additional features, and they can be expensive.
- Software encoders: With software encoders, you get a browser-based encoder that requires a powerful computer along with a high internet upload speed. The more destinations you choose to stream to, the more bandwidth you use — which lowers the quality of your livestreams.
- Cloud-based platforms: Unlike the other options, cloud-based platforms don’t require any hardware or additional bandwidth. Cloud-based platforms use a network of servers to distribute your livestreams to your desired destinations.
MULTISTREAMING WITH SWITCHER STUDIO
As a cloud-based platform, Switcher Studio lets you multistream to your desired destinations without sacrificing video quality or the need to buy expensive hardware. With Switcher Studio, you can simultaneously stream to Facebook and YouTube or nearly anywhere else using Custom RTMP.
Switcher offers two plans featuring Multistreaming:
- Studio: Multistream to two destinations simultaneously. Plus, your 10 most recent Multistream recordings will automatically save to the Switcher Dashboard.
- Business: Multistream to up to five destinations simultaneously. Your 50 most recent Multistream recordings will automatically save to the Switcher Dashboard, and you can even pin your favorites to keep them for as long as you wish!
Switcher’s Multistreaming feature offers high-quality streams to a variety of destinations, and since Switcher runs completely on iPhones and iPads, there’s no need to purchase any expensive cameras or hardware.